President Donald Trump spent a lot of 2017 tweeting ― and news outlets spent a lot of time covering his tweets. All the president’s tweets, of course, are not equal ― nor is the public’s reaction to them.
Since last February, the online polling firm YouGov has been asking respondents to rate many of Trump’s tweets on a five-point scale, ranging from “terrible” to “great.” The results suggest that Trump wins the most plaudits when fulfilling the presidency’s more benign roles, such as commemorating historical events, urging caution amid disasters, and celebrating holidays. Personal attacks, on the other hand, tend to go down badly with Democrats and independents, while in many cases getting only tepid support from Republicans.
Trump’s highest-rated tweets overall:
Other well-received tweets involved similarly uncontroversial topics: marking Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Armed Forces Day and Independence Day, or thanking first responders to the California wildfires and the Las Vegas shooting and volunteers pitching in after Hurricane Harvey.
Trump’s lowest-rated tweets overall:
The public was also largely unimpressed by Trump’s insinuation that he’d taped conversations he had with James Comey before firing him as FBI director, or by his attacks on Arnold Schwarzenegger, LaVar Ball, and retiring Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.)
Trump’s highest-rated tweet among Democrats:
Trump also saw some of his most positive job-approval numbers last year for his handling of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
Trump’s lowest-rated tweet among Democrats:
Democrats overwhelmingly trust the news media over the president and have serious concerns about the administration’s relationship with Russia, so it’s unsurprising that three-quarters of Democrats rated this tweet as “terrible.”
Trump’s highest-rated tweet among Republicans:
Other tweets thanking the military, police officers, and first responders also scored well with the GOP.
Trump’s lowest-rated tweet among Republicans:
The attack on Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team who broached the prospect of a future run for the White House, was the only tweet all year to net Trump a negative score among members of his own party.
Trump’s highest-rated tweet among independents:
Trump’s lowest-rated tweet among independents:
Most Americans, it’s worth noting, don’t follow Trump on Twitter. A survey last year found that although much of the public had heard “a lot” about Trump’s tweets, barely more than a tenth said they generally saw his comments directly on Twitter, rather than learning about them in the news.
YouGov’s TweetIndex shows a representative sample of U.S. adults the tweets sent in the past 24 hours by President Trump. Respondents are asked to rate the tweets on a scale “Great”, “Good”, “OK”, “Bad” and “Terrible” (scored from +2 to -2). The reported score published by YouGov is the average rating multiplied by 100.